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HEXE bitcrusher review and clips.

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by jucas, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. jucas


    Dec 14, 2003
    So, I got a bitcrusher in the mail on friday. Got here pretty quick considering it came from Germany.



    The builder's websie is here. I was browsing over at DIY stompboxes.com and bumped into his projects. Looked at the site, and went for the bitcrusher.

    First impressions were that it looks way less DIY'd then I had expected. Finish is great, work inside is really tidy. Turned the pedal on and there's a glorious range of digital, lo fi, and fuzzy madness! Short version of the review is at the bottom.

    For all the controls its actually pretty easy to work with, and really controllable for a pedal thats lo fi and geats crazy. Not much in the way of gltchy stuff... a hint of sputter as the note dies off now and then, or if my playing gets really slopy, but on par with my mammoth for sputter, and way less technique sensitive than something like an OC-2.

    Blend and level controls are self explanatory.

    Telephone is a bandpass filter.

    Downsample turns down the sample rate (32kHz to 1KHz). Gives kind of a ring mod-ish flavor at extreme setting to some high end drone-y ring-y stuff thats only barely noticible on the high notes at low settings. At zero, the other parameters seem pretty much untouched.

    Crush apparantly a digital distortion/bitmess control... but I have pretty much no idea what its actually doing. At minimum, there's a faint industrial sounding distortion that really changes as a note decays. The telephone and can pick out those frequencies to acentute it, and the downsample messes with highs more first (I think) so works well in there too. Turn the crush up and it gets to a huge sounding fuzz that has plenty of low end, and actually desn't massacre your envelope too much. Actually can throw an envelope filter after it with decent results.

    EXP assign Haven't used it yet, but it should be pretty useful. You can hear some interesting sounds in the clips where settings get changed. My expression pedal is string less, so I can't actually make a clip.

    Here's some clips, although I still have a bit of a high pitched whine in the background in my recordings. Its noticible in the clean signal sample so you know whats my weak recording, and not a flaw in the pedal. Also, this is my LittleMark II's line out so the lows are probably lower and highs higher than if I had a mike to use. Probably want to use some decent speakers/headphones.

    Most of the squelches and glitches are from me not paying attention when I change settings and dropa note, but there are some at some settings when I play normally.

    The first two are totally wet on the blend, all controls at zero (except level) and the crush or downsample is turned up progressively.

    The next two show the bandpassfilter. Either low or high crush, and a bit of downsampling. Clean blend added part way through.

    Finally, with some other effects (bitcrusher>blueberry>FX25). Higher crush and downsample, and telephone just under half. This clip gets harsh in come places... I'm playing mostly above the 12th fret, and there's two bandpass filters being used on the digital distortion, and some overdrive here and there. It gets messy!

    So, the short version...


    -Controls are easy to use and well thought out.
    -Wide range of sounds available... lofi to fairly subtle.
    -Hangs on to your lows (if you want it too)
    -just sounds great

    -some glitches if you get sloppy with your playing. Not too badly though.
    -it would be nice if the "crush" at minimum was completely off. there's some good sounds with it the way it is, but an "off" setting would be good if it didn't come at the expense ofthe maximum setting.

    I hate to sound too positive in a review, but the pedal does what I expected and does it well. I'll post more pros and cons if I find them as I play more, but for now I'm REALLY impressed with it!
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Sweet. It does look nice.
  3. CliffD


    Jan 27, 2008
    VERY cool, some of the samples sound like my WMD geiger counter but it looks very interesting. What was the price?
  4. whoatherechunk


    Apr 4, 2008
    very very very very neat!
  5. jucas


    Dec 14, 2003
    It was about 180 Euros.
  6. whoatherechunk


    Apr 4, 2008
    the roboduck looks neat as well.
  7. Chris Ramlar

    Chris Ramlar

    Feb 8, 2006
    you ordered directly? what was your experience as a costumer?
  8. whoatherechunk


    Apr 4, 2008
    that tap link idea on the radar phase and that trem pedal looks f'ing sweet as well.
  9. adube810


    Mar 6, 2008
    Brooklyn, NY
    i want to hear an OC-2 behind this
  10. jetofuj


    Jun 16, 2008
    Another pedal builder from my country. Living in Germany though.
  11. jucas


    Dec 14, 2003
    Yeah, I think direct is the only way to get them. Great experience as a customer though, he was really helpful, friendly, and accomadating. Always answered questions promptly, and when I asked about using it with a bass, I had a clip with a guitar into an octaver at various settings the next day.

    There was no paypal though, but I can't blame someone for not wanting to give them money...

    Yeah, he's got some really cool stuff there.

    I'd help out, but I've got no octave right now.
  12. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Very sweet pedal.

    I was actually really interested in a few of his pedals a couple months back,

    I was most interested in the Orbiter which started as a Polyphase clone, but his tremolo, filter and bitcrusher all looked great to me too. Even the samples of his now discontinuted chorus/vibrato sounded cool.

    Nice review. If we don't hear anything from Malekko on the Holley Erectus I may have to pull the trigger on one of these.
  13. CliffD


    Jan 27, 2008
    Word, whatever happened to Malekko's bit???
  14. whoatherechunk


    Apr 4, 2008
    Maybe he's busy with the chicken reverb that recently came out.
  15. jucas


    Dec 14, 2003
    I'd wondered about the malekko when I was thinking about buying this.

    I thought most of his pedals looked good (i'd missed the orbiter, but lots of cool features on that!), but that melusine really stood out as being interesting. No idea how I'd find it usefull or use it with a band, but it appealed to me in a weird way.
  16. Chris Ramlar

    Chris Ramlar

    Feb 8, 2006
    looks like I'll order one soon...
  17. whoatherechunk


    Apr 4, 2008
    yeah...that melusine is weird....*** would it be classified as?
  18. I like what I hear, thanks for the clips!
  19. whoatherechunk


    Apr 4, 2008

    So is the bitcrusher gonna kick the mammoth off the board?
  20. jucas


    Dec 14, 2003
    Actually, I sold my mammoth a few weeks back... but this might take the fuzz spot on my board. I wasn't expecting the basic fuzz sound to be so pleasant so I'm not sure yet.

    My board's pretty much in shambles right now and getting an overhaul. I'm giving some thought to what I want to keep, what to get rid of, and what I really need it to be able to do.

    And, I got an email that explained the "crush" knob's function a little... From the builder;


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